Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Slow Times I

Slow Times at Publishing High School
(Part One)

Well I don't care about Sacred Cows
Publishing, publishing, publishing high school
'Cause that's not what I wanna be
Publishing, publishing, publishing high school
I just wanna sell some books
I just wanna get some chicks
Publishing, publishing, publishing high school

Well the congirls out there knock me out, you know
Publishing, publishing, publishing high school
Cruisin' around in my leisure suit
Publishing, publishing, publishing high school
I hate it when the NYT don't find me cool
Don't wanna be no reviewer's fool
Publishing, publishing, publishing high school...


"Jimmy Frey, please report to the Principle's Office," a tired-sounding voice announced over the intercom. "Jimmy Frey to the Principle's Office, please."

Liz stood just inside one of the entry doors to the student lobby. She looked back over her shoulder at the curb, and the lean blond boy behind the wheel of a black and silver GTO. The surf board on the GTO's roof rack gleamed like the ocean, green and blue. Her boyfriend grinned, cocked an eyebrow and patted the empty seat beside him. Liz shook her head and walked into school.

Writers, bloggers and reviewers choked the lobby like restless salmon in home-faded blue jeans. Most were clustered in their cliques, the schools within the school. A few rogues hemmed the edges, looking for opportunities to spawn. Posters of all the hot new books written by the students of Bestseller University adorned the walls. The smell of Love's Baby Soft-scented bookmarks didn't quite cover the odor of young, earnest sweat.

On her way in Liz passed a slinky girl dressed in black leather and exchanged a passing low five. "What's up, Sel?"

"I got detention for speaking up during awards assembly." Selah rolled her eyes. "Again."

Liz smiled. Detention had been boring since John had finished doing his time for his last Hardboiled Jesus parody. "See you there."

"Good morning, students. It's another wonderful day at Publishing High School," Binky, the President of the Literary Glee Club announced, mouth-breathing between the words. "Please stand while we have the Sacred Pledge of Publishing Allegiance. I pledge allegiance, to promote the image, of the publishing industry of America..."

Liz watched her peers go still, press their hands to their wallets, and recite the pledge. She'd gotten detention more than once for not doing the same, but there were no image safety patrols around this morning. Probably out in the parking lot looking for Jimmy Frey.

"You may be seated," Binky said with nasal graciousness after the pledge was over. "Here are today's announcements: The Junior Sisters of the Immaculate Love Scene are having a super-dee-duper non-erotic historical romance sale at lunch time; proceeds to go toward instituting mandatory chastity belts and religious instruction for all female students. Girls, make the proper, decent choice and buy all your romances only from the Sisters."

Liz eyed Dodie, a pudgy girl in a pink twinset with pearls who was glaring at her. The Junior Sisters still hadn't discovered who had defaced the JSILS chastity belt drive bulletin board with unused Trojans and tubes of KY Jelly, but Dodie had put Liz at the top of their suspect list.

"Our mystery team, the Way Cool Guys, are taking on Tartan Noir tonight at 8 p.m. in the gym, remember to wear your sunglasses and think up nasty things to call the Scottish."

Liz blew a kiss to Dodie, receiving a sniff and a plump shoulder in return, and made a mental note to wear her shortest kilt and sit by Fiona on the opposing team's side at the gym.

"Which reminds me, have you stopped by the Literary Glee Club's student bookstore and checked out our Better Read It! novel of the semester?" Binky demanded. "It's another fabulous story by a struggling writer who's not actually struggling but we think makes us look fabulous for picking her. Remember our motto: All the smart students in the know-know know where to go-go-go to be told what to read."

A worried-looking freshman rushed over to Liz. "Hi, Lizzie. Are you going to read the Club's new pick? It sounds like what we should be reading."

Liz imagined shaking Binky until her brains rattled, but she wasn't sure Binky had any. "Hell froze over already?"

The freshman laughed, paled, looked from side to side, and grimaced. "Um, thanks." She hurried off.

"Hey." Alison, Captain of the school gymnastics team, stopped and nudged Liz. "Be nice."

Liz yawned. "I am not nice."

"We know, but you could pretend." Alison linked her arm through Liz's. "C'mon, I'll buy you a latte at Nick's Java Hut before class starts."

(stayed tuned for part two)

13 comments:

  1. Thank you. I needed that today.

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  2. I hear *Twilight Zone* music.

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  3. nasty things to call the Scottish

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. Well, calling them for English is the worst insult you can do to a Scot.

    Gabriele Campbell *who will not say the American Publish Pledge*

    *grin*
    Thanks for the fun.

    Btw, the verification word for this is OJEJO - sounds like a battly cry.

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  4. You're welcome, Selah. (grin)

    Probably because I live in the Twilight Zone, 1 l loyd.

    Gabriele wrote: Btw, the verification word for this is OJEJO - sounds like a battly cry.

    I can close my eyes and hear ancient warrior Mayans shouting that one.

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  5. I loved it. I loved the song, too.

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  6. Now I wonder what you're going to say about me.

    Plump nervous nerd down the hall selling hand made quilts and rotting badgers out of her locker? ;)

    Awesome story so far. Thanks for the smile.

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  7. Wait . . . I know that song!

    That's was by the "Write-Moans" wasn't it?

    :-)

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  8. You're as dangerous as Raine with her barbies!

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  9. I LOVE lattes!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Ooooh, Thank you I needed this today.
    I've got "Publishing Highschool" running through my brain now.

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  11. Tartan Noir gonna kick Way Cool Guys's arses all over the court! Yay! Whooo! (cue overexcited jumping up and down cheerleader stylie - not advisable in a kilt, but you're all young, you'll get over it).

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  12. Hey-
    Did you know if google PBW, you're #3?

    That's pretty good, PBW.

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  13. Anonymous1:33 AM

    LOL. That's hysterical. I think I'm totally going to be the weird chick wearing all black and muttering to herself about dragons. :P (This isn't THAT far from real high school. My bio teacher glimpsed at my notebook over my shoulder once and was impressed with my rather detailed drawings of a dragon that I had been working on all semester. She even gave me suggestions on how to make it better. Mrs. O'Connell rocked.)

    Crista

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